Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in October, 2010

Last night’s Town Hall event hosted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing brought together almost 300 people to discuss and learn about the importance of rebuilding our manufacturing base.

The crowd consisted of a wide variety of concerned citizens. Labor and Business leaders, a busload of high school students, and people worried about the direction of the American economy came together to stress the importance manufacturing will play in any economic recovery.

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According to Randy Downs, Treasurer for Citizens to Elect Teresa Connelly (for County Clerk), libertarian activist, BJ Lawrence, published a website that makes it appear as though Connelly is endorsing the candidacy of Republican Paul Curtman in the 105th. Curtman is challenging the Democratic incumbent Mike Frame. I grabbed the screen shot on the left for posterity.

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At the Oct. 25 meeting of the Franklin County Democratic Central Committee former Franklin County Presiding Commissioner, Gene Scott, was nominated by unanimous vote to act as interim presiding commissioner after Ed Hillhouse vacates the position to become the executive director of the East-West Gateway Council of Government on Oct. 31. Scott humbly accepted the nomination.

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For months we have been hearing media pundits relentlessly pushing the “Democrats are doomed” narrative. Now that there appears to be a shift in the polling data and the so-called “enthusiasm gap” seems to be closing in the final days of the campaign, a new narrative is emerging from the right: “Democrats are going to steal the election through voter fraud.” They are even making the wild claim that the now de-funded and defunct community organizing group, ACORN, has re-emerged.

Here’s a video sample of the nuttery from TPM:

I’ve never bought into the enthusiasm gap nonsense. The enthusiasm is still here for Democrats it’s just been more measured (and also we tend not to be a bunch of media-hog loud mouths). Make no mistake, Republicans are going to have a good night next Tuesday, so it seems especially ridiculous that they would be banging the massive voter fraud drum ahead of that. One would think Democrats would be doing it. But there may be some method to this madness.

Expectations have been raised so high for Republicans this year that anything short of a total rout will be seen as a colossal failure. Remember, conservatives can never be wrong. Therefore, there must be some external and sinister force at work in the world to explain why reality did not match expectations. Allegations of voter fraud this soon may be the GOP laying the groundwork for that effort if things don’t go as planned.

A better possibility for these kooky claims is that the GOP is less likely to take control of the Senate than the House, and many of the Senate races they do lose will be by razor thin margins. If they can allege voter fraud they can prevent some of the winners from being seated for months or even a year and further gum up the works, as they did with Sen. Al Franken in 2008-09.

Keep an eye on this one, especially if there are some surprises next Tuesday. And I think there are going to be.

After listening to some of the (phony) outrage expressed by various Fox News personalities about the firing of Juan Williams by National Public Radio I can’t help but reach the conclusion that these traditionally anti-labor mouthpieces have had a change of heart.

Amid all the claims of Juan Williams being censored, of political correctness gone wild, and infringement of Freedom of Speech is a disturbing truth about the American workplace. The truth is that no American worker has the right to Free Speech in the workplace! That constitutional protection is dropped at the door of your employer along with many other rights in the constitution such as the Freedom of Association.

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For the policy wonks among us this video of Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway analyzing Republican Senatorial Candidate Rand Paul and his positions on “the Constitution” reveal the harshness of Paul’s worldview.

Jack Conway traces the legal framework for programs like Social Security, Worker Safety, and the Minimum Wage and why Rand Paul views them as unconstitutional.

This video is fifteen minutes long but a great review of how we got from the brutal days of the Robber Barons to the protections in place today and why we should not go back.

It was heartening to see so many informed and concerned citizens turn out in Labadie on Oct. 24 for the Missouri Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) public hearing to discuss the pollution emissions from the Ameren Labadie coal-fired electric plant as part of its permitting process.

It was confirmed early and often by the many speakers that Ameren has not been in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards under the Clean Air Act for almost a decade. From the testimony presented the utility has several major outstanding violations and has gotten away with it by simply giving the EPA the big middle finger. Ameren proclaimed it disagrees with the EPA. There were no repercussions. End of story.

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My last post discussed the Orwellian influence of Newspeak and Doublethink in the Roy Blunt Senatorial campaign. Today’s announcement that Toyota is recalling over a million and a half cars for Brake and Fuel Pump issues brought Mr. Orwell and his influence to mind.

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Since it was revealed that the Chamber of Commerce is spending millions this election cycle to defeat Democrats using money from undisclosed (and in some cases foreign) entities, the right and its media enablers have bent themselves into a pretzel trying to dismiss the charges and minimize the public relations fallout. One of their tactics is to present false equivalencies like this one from the Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen:

… Labor unions are spending millions to tar Republican candidates — and they take in far more foreign cash than the Chamber. If the GOP takes control of Congress, investigations into how organized labor funds its political efforts could be forthcoming.

… The U.S. Chamber says it receives about $100,000 from its affiliates abroad (out of an operating budget of about $200 million), none of it used for political campaigns. Compare that to one of the largest labor unions in America, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats.

There are several glaring problems with Thiessen’s argument.

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I’ve always looked up to Rep. Mike Frame in District 105 for his tenacious fundrasing ability. He’s one of the best.  He does it the old-fashion way. He pounds the pavement and phones his supporters constantly. Raising between $20,000 to $40,000 is within what I would consider to be a respectable range for a state representative district such as his, which takes in parts of eastern Franklin and western Jefferson counties. But Frame has exceeded that and has raised an impressive $55,000 so far this election cycle with total expenditures of about $34,000 and about $17,000 cash on hand. That’s pretty good for this stage of the campaign.

I only use Frame as a point of reference because when I looked at Dave Schatz’s Missouri Ethics Commission filing for his bid for State Representative District 111, which takes in parts of Franklin, Crawford and Gasconade counties, I had to pick my jaw off the floor.

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